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With fresh funding, MyForest Foods is bringing meatless bacon, and soon jerky, across the East Coast

MyBacon in skillet with Robert Downey Jr. as a worm on a mushroom drawing overlaid
Image courtesy of MyForest Foods with illustration by Nate Merritt

Green Island, New York-based MyForest Foods is preparing to take its meatless mycelium MyBacon across the East Coast and is also prepping for the launch of its second product: MyJerky, a plant-based alternative to beef jerky that like its popular bacon is made with the fungi root mycelium.

With $15 million in new funding, the FootPrint Coalition Venture’s portfolio company is investing in retail and food service advancement across the Eastern Seaboard, including New York City, and with a new CEO, food industry veteran Greg Shewchuk, the startup is continuing its crucial mission of working toward eliminating factory farming.

Already, the company’s flagship product, MyBacon, is available across 100 retail locations throughout the Northeast but with the rising demand for plant-based food — the market is expected to triple over the next decade — the mushroom-based company wants to expand its roots.

In 2020, MyForest Foods spun out of Ecovative, it's mushroom packaging parent company. Now, the parent company has invested in the spin-out with its co-founder and former CEO, Eben Bayer, stepping down. Bayer remains a MyForest board member and the CEO of Ecovative which continues to develop and scale mycelium products that can replace everything from plastic and leather to building materials and in MyForest’s case, meat.

In addition to MyForest Foods, other Evocative brands include its mushroom packaging company and Forager, a biomaterial company using mycelium to respond to the pressing need for circularity in the fashion, apparel, and automotive industries.

According to Bayer, “MyForest Foods was founded by a team of innovators with a passion for growing mycelium, an insight into how to grow whole-cut meats, and a vision to eliminate factory farming. Having proved the viability and consumer demand for our flagship MyBacon product, now is the optimal time to bring on an experienced industry leader as we move to commercial scale.”

Shewchuk, the new CEO of MyForest Foods says that “With this new funding and renewed commitment from our investors, my goal is to double down on our marketing and sales functions to take the MyForest Foods brand to the next level.”

Unlike conventional pork production, MyForest uses a fraction of the land, water, and carbon required for factory farming, and in order to scale its production, MyForest is also preparing to launch a second farm in Canada with Whitecrest Mushrooms, a company that utilizes automation for mushroom harvesting, that MyForest previously partnered with when the company was known as AtLast.

The company just finished its first commercial harvest with Whitecrest, and with its second product, MyJerky, on the horizon, the fresh funding comes just at the right time.

According to Bayer via VegNews, the MyForest team has been snacking on their jerky alternative for quite some time, perfecting it for the public.

“While MyBacon was an important introduction for consumers into the mycelium category, it certainly won’t be our last product innovation,” he said.

“Over the past year, the internal MyForest Foods team has been enjoying MyJerky, and we’re proud to launch the product as a tasty, snack-able, plant-based option for our customers later this year.”

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